By: Derek Yu

On: December 12th, 2009


I think DrPetter’s Deflectorpool is pretty brilliant. It’s got a unique combination of mechanics, a well-balanced difficulty ramp, a great combo system that effectively employs risk/reward, and lots of ways to score. It’s also deceptively simple and looks/sounds nice, to boot. Players who enjoy mechanical games should really enjoy this one.

In the game you control a “bat” that’s dangling from the bottom of a paddle that’s floating in water. Colored balls drop from the top of the screen, and your bat will collect balls of its color for points. By holding down the mouse button you can bump a different-colored ball to change colors. If a ball drops off the bottom of the screen, the screen is pushed upwards – if the water goes past the top of the screen, you lose.

The fun comes from getting large combos, which becomes ever more risky as the balls begin to pile up on top of your paddle. You’ll inevitably find yourself juggling furiously trying to avoid changing colors until the last moment. At the bottom of the screen, friendly messages encourage (goad?) you to keep going and striving to reach 10, 20, or 30 balls.

DrPetter‘s still best known for his tools like Sfxr and Musagi, but if he keeps this up he’ll soon be well known for his games as well. In my opinion, Deflectorpool is great.

TIGdb: Entry for Deflectorpool

Short development video after the leap:

  • bateleur

    Fun game!

    My one reservation here is that the addition of the first new colour is really too much of a jump in terms of the impact on gameplay. Two colours is easy and results in mad combos and few to no dropped balls. Three colours and I was already scrambling just to stay alive.

    Still, very cool, doubtless something I’ll regularly return to. :-)

  • Davioware

    fun game, and great level of polish.

  • PHeMoX

    Now this is nice! Good game indeed!

    ( Oh, I think there’s a word missing somewhere near Sfxr. ;) )

  • DrPetter

    Hey, thanks Yu!
    Not everyone likes this game actually. It seems there’s an off-putting knee in the challenge/enjoyment curve that can make it seem unfriendly and needlessly difficult or random. Any newcomer can jump in and get a little bit of simple fun, but it takes a few plays and some observation before you figure out everything that’s going on and learn how to use it for best effect. Spending this extra time will make the game much more rewarding.
    There are many different tactics enabled by the various bonus elements, but they must all be discovered by the player. Most complaints have been of the instructions not describing everything in detail.

  • Bob

    Been playing this for a while now, loved every minute.

  • cowgarden

    ha cool, 38th in the highscores!

  • cowgarden

    oh, daily scroes only, but I don’t get the dates than

  • ARme

    The making of this game was very interesting ! Nice and fresh puzzle game really !

  • Jad

    Got 10th place of today, very nice game

    I think one of the things that you really do need to figure out is the dotted line that shows the limits of where your paddle can go – it’s not the bottom of the screen that you should look out for, but that dotted line – GOTTA save balls that are close to it.

    Anyways very fun, gonna work on my score some more ‘ u ‘

  • Dodger

    Great game here! I love the idea and the mechanic of deflecting off-color balls while trying to collect the corresponding colored balls. The mechanic reminds me very much of Ikaruga in a way, but this is actually a little more intense as you progress past 3 different colors. Definitely my favorite web based fast-reflex / puzzle game out right now! This is actually a breath of fresh air in this particular genre. I really enjoyed games like Puzzle Bobble, Astro Pop, and yes even Bejeweled 2 and it does remind me of other elements from games like Peggle and even some of the breakout games which were all fun in short bursts. This is a completely original twist for this type of game. I love the idea and the gameplay. I’d be willing to buy this one if it wasn’t free ;-) and it was a downloadable game.

    Only things I’d like to see is a global high-score board with complete rankings – daily, weekly, all-time. And perhaps a Time Attack mode, which would be a completely separate mode, where the water constantly rises allowing an allotted time to score as big and as many points as possible within that time. Perhaps even a few power ups to “pause” the water from rising temporarily.

    Damn fine game!

  • Epitaph64

    Ah, so simple, yet complex at the same time. Very nice game. I found it also to get considerably harder at the third color addition, but I thought it was a good time for it, since I was juggling the first two colors just fine.

  • DrPetter

    Thank you Dodger. There are mochi highscores in already – are they not working for you?

    I’m sort of toying with the idea of porting this to iPhone at some point, so you may still have an opportunity to pay money for it ;)

    Time Attack is an interesting idea, and I’d definitely try to put in some extra modes or make other tweaks to set a deluxe version apart from the flash.

  • Epitaph64

    Yeah, I see this as being great on the iPhone since it’s so simple, easily touch-playable, and also with high scores and such, would be fun. You know what would be kind of a cool mode in my opinion? You fight an enemy, who instead of water with their paddle, has slime that hangs from the ceiling of the screen, and globs of it may fall down that you have to avoid with your paddle (they don’t raise your water level) and they would just be AI controlled.

  • ssid

    Music is good. Is it from that one guy?? er… I forget his name.

  • Skofo

    Love the old-school feel!

  • DrPetter

    ssid: It’s from this one guy. Thanks.

  • AClarkFS

    Cool idea, I got mad at it fairly quick having to juggle, then again I cant juggle so I don’t have much to say otherwise.

  • chrknudsen

    This is a really good, original idea. Don’t see a lot of those that often. So props for that! I agree that the game gets really hard, really fast when the third color gets added, but it just takes practice, I guess.

  • Bisse

    Fantastic game, can’t stop coming back for more! currently #2 on scoreboard aiming for #1 :)

    Has anyone figured out how the three indicators in the upper left work? I gathered they have something to do with the bonus pickups, but can’t figure out the mechanics.

  • Bob

    Geez, games don’t use the SNES/Genesis/Amiga like graphics and sounds enough.

  • DrPetter

    Bisse: The indicators represent color categories – deflect at least one of each and a bonus ball will be released. You can hold the mouse button to touch balls of different color without destroying your combo, as long as you don’t collect the wrong balls.

  • Laney

    Opening screen/menu is great and seems to want to set the stage for the rest of the game. But when the game starts its rather slow and not as exciting.

    Also, no story (not that one is required) ie. I dont know why im deflecting balls? Why is the paddle connected to my deflector the way it is? Maybe just me, but I got the impression that the game is set inside the tank of a toilet :) Which is probably not what you had in mind.

    It is challenging though and I find myself coming back for more. Good game.

  • Jo-Remi Madsen

    Interesting to see the development day for day:)

  • Dodger


    I really like the new “power-ups” you’ve implemented! I’d really like to see a Deluxe version of this for Windows (and Mac). I realize this is a great app for the iPhone but I think it could work as a Desktop game as well. The reason I say a deluxe version is because you could have a little backdrop – not exactly a plot, but a “reason” for deflecting the balls. I realize Laney mentioned having a story. I don’t think it’s necessary to have a story. Bejeweled didn’t really have a story (even though every other match 3 clone to come out did). However, Laney did have a fairly novel idea about the game even though that wasn’t the intention of the comment. Why not use the idea of a Toilet Tank overflowing (not an actual toilet bowl – although, with a couple of color changes this could easily be called Deflector Poo *jk*). Honestly though, you could make the backdrop for the game a Toilet tank that for some reason must be guarded from different colored germs, water droplets, bacteria… or whatever you want the “objects” that are supposed to be deflected to be. Anyway, it’s kind of a random thought but it came to mind because Laney had brought up the idea of a toilet tank and story.

    Again, I really like the game and the enhancements you’ve made to it. The little extras are very cool and do add to the gameplay. Keep up the great work!